Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2010 Contents 14 AsianAviation | MAY 2010
Recently opened Ibaraki Airport, Tokyo's third
airport after Narita and Haneda, is finding it
difficult to attract airlines, despite offering the
lowest landing fees in the metropolitan area.
Since it opened for operations on 11 March,
just two carriers -- South Korea's Asiana Airlines
and Japanese regional carrier Skymark Airlines
-- have been operating here. Asiana offers a
daily flight from Seoul's Incheon Airport while
Skymark has a daily service from Kobe.
Malaysian low cost carrier (LCC) AirAsia
had expressed interest to fly to Ibaraki but has
yet to secure the rights from the Malaysian
authorities. Industry sources say Ibaraki Airport
officials are now trying to woo Spring Airlines
in China, Cebu Pacific Air in the Philippines,
and Korea's Jin Air and Busan Air.
The new airport was built at a cost of 22
billion yen (US$245 million). The project was
jointly funded by the Ibaraki Prefecture and
Federal governments. The Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Tokyo
declined to comment.
Ibaraki charges landing fees of 77,700
yen for a single-aisle Airbus A320 jetliner,
compared with Haneda's 160,900 yen and
Narita's 118,400 yen.
Ibaraki has hoped to lure some traffic
away from mostly-international Narita and
mostly-domestic Haneda -- both of which are
overcrowded. The airport, which is the 98th in
Japan, is located 80km north of the capital and
is the only international facility in Japan that
does not have aerobridges. It was designed
that way to reduce construction and operating
The initial plan for a three-storey passenger
terminal was shot down by the Ibaraki
government and reduced to a single-storey
building. The local government is now planning
for the airport to handle about 170,000
passengers in its first year of operation, a sharp
reduction from the initial target of 800,000.
The hope now is to promote Ibaraki as a hub
for low-cost carriers. -- William Dennis
Tokyo's new Ibaraki Airport struggles to attract airlines
Philippines-based airport operator Clark
International Airport Corp (CIAC) has embarked
on a feasibility study to develop Diosdado
Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) into the
premier facility in the country.
The study, which is to cost US$5 million,
is being funded by the Japan International
Cooperation Agency. It is expected to be
completed in the fourth quarter of this year.
CIAC has approved a budget of 52.8
billion pesos (US$1.2 billion) for the proposed
development of the airport, including the
construction of two new passenger terminals
and a third runway. CIAC manages DMIA,
which is located 80km outside Manila and
serves the Clark Special Economic Zone.
Under the master plan for the airport,
passenger handling capacity was to be doubled
to 5 million with the completed expansion of
the existing terminal building at the end of
April. The terminal expansion has been part
of the first phase of the project, which also
covered the expansion of the apron and the
construction of two aerobridges.
A second terminal building will be constructed
under Phase 2, which is proposed to start in
mid-2011, increasing capacity by another 7
million. The terminal is expected to open for
operations in 2013. The same phase includes
the extension of the airport's two, 3.2km
runways by 800m, each to cater for aircraft
bigger than the Airbus A330.
The two runways operate independently.
Terminal 2 will be expanded around the 2018-
The eventual plan is for the airport is to
operate with three runways and three terminals
handling 80 million passengers a year by 2025.
Previously known as Clark Field, DMIA was
the former US military air base. The airport was
left idle for seven years before the government
invested an initial US$50 million in 1999 to
convert the facility into a civil airport.
DMIA is currently served by AirAsia, Cebu
Pacific Air, Tiger Airways, Spirit of Manila
Airlines, Southeast Asian Airlines and Asiana
-- Emma Kelly
Clark International studies massive expansion of DMIA
Construction of Tibet's fifth airport, located
in Xigaze Prefecture, will be completed on 3
September, with operations slated to start 2
Named Peace Airport, the facility is being
built at a cost of 490 million yuan (US$71.5
million). Construction, which started in April
2009, is being financed by the China Airport
Development and Construction Fund.
The airport will be able to handle as many as
230,000 and 1,150 tonnes cargo a year. Once
operational, it is expected to attract investment
and boost tourism in the region.
Peace Airport will be an air corridor linking
Xigaze -- or Shigatse as it is better known -- to
the outside world.
Tibet's fourth airport, Ngari Gunsa, which is
located at an altitude of 13,950ft, is slated to
start operations in July but has been delayed 14
Tibet's current three airports are Lhasa
Gonggar, Nyingchi Milin and Chamdo Bangda
-- which is currently the highest airport in the
world at 14,219ft.
Tibet plans to build a sixth airport, Nagqu
Dagring, which will be 334ft higher than
Chamdo Bangda. Construction will start in May
2011 and should be completed three years later.
Damxung Airport, which was built in 1956,
has been decommissioned.
-- Emma Kelly
Tibet's fifth airport to start operations in October
Cebu Pacific is one of the carriers now
operating to the former US air base.
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